Essay on The Souls Of Black Folk By. B. Du Bois

786 Words Mar 28th, 2015 4 Pages
Within his collection of short stories, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois writes a story of two Johns in chapter thirteen, “Of the Coming of John.” This chapter is significant within the book because it presents the dilemma that blacks faced in society even after the abolishment of slavery. Du Bois portrays how being white corresponded with being privileged and how despite the effort blacks put into becoming something other than what society intended them to be and aspiring for greater things, they were still seen as unequal and beneath the white race.
Du Bois introduces the story of a black John and a white John who both grew up in the same town. Once they became old enough they both decided to go off to school and pursue an education. However, the town in which they grew up did not approve of the black John going away, claiming that it would ruin him. I find this very thought-provoking because it shows how people did not see it fitting for blacks to have a higher education or one comparable to that of whites.
When the black John gets into school he struggles with work and his behavior, so he is asked by his Dean to leave the school. John, however, asks if he can leave for just a semester, work in the city and come back to show the Dean “something”. Once John gets the Deans approval he does just that, and within the text it states that “the serious look that crept over his boyish face that afternoon never left it again.” When he returns to school he dedicates himself…

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